WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - July 14, 2005)
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Mr. FILNER. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson) for her leadership and the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Duncan), the gentleman from Alaska (Mr. Young), and the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Oberstar). I also want to thank the staff on both sides, but the staff on our side has kept us well informed of the progress of the bill, worked with us on the projects that we needed; and I greatly appreciate the work that they have all done on this.
I support the underlying bill. I am looking forward to the manager's amendment from the gentleman from Alaska (Mr. Young). Many of us throughout the Nation have projects in here. I just want to stress a couple that are important to my own constituents in Imperial and San Diego counties in California.
The New River in my district starts in Mexico, flows into the Salton Sea, one of the biggest bodies of water in the United States which I share with the gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Bono). This river, the New River, has been described as the world's most polluted river. Due to grossly inadequate sewage treatment and solid waste facilities in Mexico, raw sewage, industrial waste, and garbage, up to 50 million gallons a day, are constantly released into the New River.
It violates every water quality standard we have. Plants and animals cannot survive in the New River, and it threatens the health and safety of the residents of my district. It also runs through the Imperial County farmlands that supply many of our Nation's winter crops. By supplying the funds to treat and clean up this river in this bill, we are assuring the health and well-being of the food that we feed to the children of our Nation.
The New River also runs through the city of Brawley, California, which has its own water quality problems. The city's proximity to the United States-Mexico border makes both their air and water vulnerable to pollution that comes up from Mexico. This legislation will provide funds to the Brawley area to improve the conditions in their water.
Finally, WRDA provides the appropriate funding level to San Diego County for the removal of non-native exotic species from the drinking water in the Sweetwater Reservoir. My constituents, like everyone throughout the country, deserve clean water. This legislation provides them with the resources to make this a reality.
As our speakers have said, this is a bipartisan, well-written bill which will not only help in creating jobs across the Nation, but will help provide safe and clean water for our future. So please join me in supporting this bill and the manager's amendment. We are truly voting to ensure America's future.
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